Daniel Ricciardo says his rallying message of support to Renault on the cool-down lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was prompted because he is genuinely convinced the team can make a big step forward in 2020.
After what has been a rollercoaster season, Ricciardo came on the team radio after last weekend’s race to give words of encouragement for next year.
“Thank you guys,” he said. “I really mean it but we will get better next year, a lot better, I really think we will. So let’s get it.”
Speaking about his message to Motorsport.com afterwards, Ricciardo said that his comments were not just hollow words to try to make the team feel better.
“Putting it bluntly I’m not really a speech maker,” said the Australian. “I know I like to talk a lot but I’m not gonna say, ‘we’ll do better next year boys’ if I really don’t think we will. I’m not just going to massage their shoulders and tell them what they want to hear.
“Even in myself I know I’ll get better, so that’s that’s one variable that I know is going to change for the better. So even that alone will improve.
“But there are a lot of other things. Speaking with the aero guys, the philosophy of how we’ve designed the car, and especially the front of the car this year, I think they’re pretty confident that that was maybe not the best way to go, looking at some other teams, in order to develop the car.
“We can change that and get a little more out of it as the year goes on with updates. We didn’t really get that much.
“So, yeah, I think we have a bit in hand and we certainly have the resources and the budget to do so. So, yeah, it’s optimism.”
Renault’s campaign this year stalled at the French Grand Prix when a major update package did not deliver the step forward hoped for.
Then, its hopes of making amends was further hampered by its wind tunnel being out of action for several weeks while it was upgraded.
As a result of the team’s problems this year it has undertaken a staffing reshuffle, with former McLaren and Ferrari engineer Pat Fry to join the outfit next year to help strengthen its technical know-how.
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